Nov 30, 2021 - Economy

Scoop: Wirecutter union to pay workers for missed overtime

Image of wirecutter website.

Wirecutter screenshot

Every member of the Wirecutter Union will be eligible to receive overtime pay from union organizers for the hours they missed working overtime during the union's Black Friday holiday strike, thanks to an outpouring of donations to support the union's walkout.

State of play: The Wirecutter union held a five-day walkout over the holiday weekend in protest of the New York Times' management's negotiations with its union.

  • The product reviews site, which was acquired by the New York Times in 2016, typically sees a boost in traffic over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Details: As of Tuesday morning, the union had raised nearly $43,000 from a GoFundMe page over the span of a week, far surpassing its $25,000 target. That money came from over 900 unique donors.

  • The union will "be able to provide funds to everyone who wants them due to the generosity of our supporters who donated so much more than our goal," said Sarah Kobos, a senior photo editor at Wirecutter and vice-chair of the union. "Any excess we have after that, we will be donating to other strike funds."

The big picture: The union is asking the Times for a $300,000 pay increase across the salaries of its 65-person department. "The fact that the Times is sitting on $1 billion (of cash) — it's a small ask," Kobos said.

  • Asked whether the boycott had impacted traffic to the Wirecutter, or subscription referrals, Kobos said she couldn't share metrics, but "I can only assume that it did affect things."
  • The Wirecutter added 10,000 net subscriptions in its first month behind a paywall, the Times said in early November.

What's next: The union's next bargaining date with management is set for December 6.

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